Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Ace reinsman Lindsay Harper is bubbling with confidence about Bletchley Park’s prospects in the $50,000 RWWA Cup over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night, declaring: “I think he will run a hell of a race.”
Bletchley Park, trained in Bunbury by Stephen Reed, has drawn favourably at barrier two in the group 2 feature event, with the favourite Hurricane Harley not so well drawn as the sole runner on the back line.
“I was very pleased with Bletchley Park’s run the other night (when he started out wide at barrier seven and ran home solidly from sixth at the bell to be fourth behind Galactic Star, Mighty Conqueror and Back In Twenty over 2536m),” said Harper. “He gave me a really good feel.
“I think he can lead, and if he leads, he should be the one to beat. Hurricane Harley is the class horse of the field, but it’s a difficult barrier for him, and it looks like we will get an advantage on him.
“Bracken Sky (barrier one) has the speed to hold out Bletchley Park, but I think he should concede to a bit of class. Bletchley Park comes out good but is not blistering. However, I can’t see anything outside of him capable of crossing him at the start.
“I think Bletchley Park will lead, and he’s a very good frontrunner. He has gone 1.54.1 for 2536m when he led and just got nailed (by Vampiro last December), and he’s gone 1.52.4 for 1730m when leading (and winning the Village Kid Sprint from Vultan Tin last January). So, I reckon Bletchley Park is the horse for Hurricane Harley to beat.
“I don’t think that it will worry him if he is put under pressure mid-race; he’s pretty strong.”
Champion reinsman Gary Hall jnr has a high opinion of the Justin Prentice-trained Hurricane Harley, who is in line to complete a hat-trick after finishing powerfully to win the 1730m Mount Eden Sprint and then setting the pace and winning the 2130m Howard Porter Memorial at his past two appearances.
“Without any other runners on the back line, we will come straight off (the pegs) and hopefully land somewhere handy,” he said.
This will be the eighth running of the RWWA Cup, and Hall has bright prospects of becoming the first driver to win the race twice. He was successful in the 2018 RWWA Cup with the $1.10 favourite Chicago Bull, who started from the No. 6 barrier, dashed to the front after 650m and won by four lengths from stablemate Ohoka Punter.
Leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, who prepared Our Jimmy Johnstone for his easy all-the-way victory over the fast-finishing Bronze Seeker in the 2017 Cup, hold a strong hand in this week’s event with Mighty Conqueror (Dylan Egerton-Green) and Galactic Star (Ryan Warwick) starting from barriers five and six, respectively.
Mighty Conqueror is sure to have derived great benefit from his first-up effort last Friday week when he raced four wide early, took the lead after 450m and finished second to Galactic Star, who finished fast after enjoying a perfect sit behind the pacemaker.
Gary Hall snr and Ross Olivieri each has multiple runners, with Hall represented by Diego (Maddison Brown; barrier No. 3), Wildwest (Callan Suvaljko; barrier seven) and Alta Intrigue (Aiden de Campo; barrier eight) and Oivieri by Motu Premier (Chris Voak; barrier four) and Perfect Major (Chris Lewis; barrier nine).
Those five runners will be at generous odds, with eight-year-old Motu Premier an interesting runner making his first appearance after a 14-month absence. He impressed when he won a 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Wednesday of last week. He burst to the front after 450m and set a fast pace, dashing over the final three quarters in 28.7sec., 28.5sec. and 27.5sec. to record a mile rate of 1.55.6.